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mandarin or french a level?

is it too late to change a level choices?? ive enrolled in my sixth form (the same as my secondary) and i have no idea what subjects to take or if its too late to change them after ive been enrolled. im doing art, english literature and either french or mandarin plus an epq. my dilemma is with the languages. i am half french and although never got actively taught it as a child due to my mother never talking to us in it, the last two years i did my own learning, along with engaging more w my family and not using my mum as a translator. i got a grade 9 in french gcse. with mandarin i was in the mandarin excellence program and got a grade 7, although it is definitely weaker. pros & cons of french : some unis might not count it bc its technically like my native language?, i could get a higher grade easier,the course is more widely recognised. pros and cons of mandarin: interesting, unis will count it and uncommon, however difficult and most mandarin courses at uni dont require it.
any advice would be greatly appreciated!! (also forgot to mention but i cant do both as they are in the same block)
Hi, I was in the MEP and took mandarin as an IB standard subject as my sixth form didn’t do the A level ( same as my friends sixth form I think due to the difficulty ) in my school we had online lessons in year 10/11 which for Chinese wasn’t that helpful so we didn’t really learn much as a class and we also had 6 different teachers over the 5 years however I also got a grade 7 ( not sure if it was deserved ). considering the IB STANDARD is meant to be easier than alevel it is still extremely hard ( majority of my class failed the mocks )
however I think if you enjoy mandarin it is a good subject to have even at a low level for example the pass mark , in your personal statement you can talk about how learning mandarin sets you apart etc . Also for future jobs it is a skill set not many people have therefore I would say take mandarin ! Get the grades you need for the course you want at uni and as you are working at grade 7 the a level I reckon will be gd for you ( a challenge but will look great for future jobs/uni ) esp as this yrs GCSE it was harder to get high grades ! So we’ll done for the 7 and I hope you choose to take Chinese as it is very fulfilling when you do well in the subject !


Sorry it’s so long ( grammar is prob awful too as it’s like 1 am)
(edited 1 year ago)
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Original post by adelecarrr
is it too late to change a level choices?? ive enrolled in my sixth form (the same as my secondary) and i have no idea what subjects to take or if its too late to change them after ive been enrolled. im doing art, english literature and either french or mandarin plus an epq. my dilemma is with the languages. i am half french and although never got actively taught it as a child due to my mother never talking to us in it, the last two years i did my own learning, along with engaging more w my family and not using my mum as a translator. i got a grade 9 in french gcse. with mandarin i was in the mandarin excellence program and got a grade 7, although it is definitely weaker. pros & cons of french : some unis might not count it bc its technically like my native language?, i could get a higher grade easier,the course is more widely recognised. pros and cons of mandarin: interesting, unis will count it and uncommon, however difficult and most mandarin courses at uni dont require it.
any advice would be greatly appreciated!! (also forgot to mention but i cant do both as they are in the same block)

Take Chinese as it is going to be the language everybody has to learn to do business in China in the 2030s and beyond, especially since China will be double the size of the USA's economy by then. :biggrin: lol

Also, Chinese is considered much more challenging than French or German or Spanish or even Italian.

Perhaps you could do French in your spare time as a Private Candidate? :wink:
Reply 3
Original post by thegeek888
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Take Chinese as it is going to be the language everybody has to learn to do business in China in the 2030s and beyond, especially since China will be double the size of the USA's economy by then. :biggrin: lol

Also, Chinese is considered much more challenging than French or German or Spanish or even Italian.

Perhaps you could do French in your spare time as a Private Candidate? :wink:

Thank you sm, i think im gonna see how the first like two weeks in mandarin go and then either change completely or try to enter as an external candidate!
Original post by adelecarrr
Thank you sm, i think im gonna see how the first like two weeks in mandarin go and then either change completely or try to enter as an external candidate!

Campbell Harris College, which is located on 185 High Street Kensington, London W8 6SH, would be 'ideal' as they accept around 2000 external candidates and a lot of mature students too, each year.

It is a short 3 minute walk from High Street Kensington tube station.

You would have to do the A-Level French with either AQA or Edexcel, but I prefer AQA. :wink:

https://www.campbellharris.co.uk/exams-offered

It costs £350 for the written papers and there is a £170 supplement fee for the visiting examiner for the French Speaking Oral exam.

https://www.campbellharris.co.uk/how-to-register

The venues of the exams are nice too:

https://www.campbellharris.co.uk/exam-venues

St Mary Abbots Centre
Vicarage Gate
London W8 4HN

This venue is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Campbell Harris (off Kensington Church Street).
Really depends what you want to study afterwards. For instance, if you wanted to do post-grad in anthropology they value French, if you want to do international business studies and go into a corporate job they value Chinese more. Those are just two of a thousand examples. What is more useful to you?

The long and short is, if you're not Chinese or have close Chinese friends, it WILL be much more difficult to learn than French, which you have family who speaks, and it seems an environment where you might hear and use it a lot. However, in my personal opinion, Chinese is a better choice. I have studied both but I am in international studies.

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